Investing in Tools for our Daughters Posted on September 20th, 2013

Illustrating and Editing

When our daughters were little they had way too many toys – too many to count, actually. But that started to change as our ideas about family economy and industry in the home changed. Instead of buying toys, we began to invest in tools for our daughters, even at their young ages – tools that would help them cultivate interests, develop skills, and hopefully be a blessing to the home and economies of their future families…. Read the rest of the story over at Raising Homemakers.



Adapted Zucchini Bread Recipe Posted on August 2nd, 2013

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

I adapted our favorite zucchini bread recipe into a gluten-free and grain-free version that is, well, wonderful. See my post over at Raising Homemakers, where I share both the old and new versions of the recipe.



Children’s Titanic Paper Dolls Giveaway 101st Anniversary Posted on April 12th, 2013

The story of the Titanic is such an amazing story of bravery, sacrifice, and love. Our daughters made a beautiful paper doll book featuring several of the passengers and the story of the Titanic last year. It was truly a labor of love to bring to life the real story of the Titanic and to tell the story of those who showed amazing bravery and sacrifice in the face of such a terrible event.

Our dear friends over at Deep Roots at Home are featuring a giveaway of a copy of the Children’s Titanic Paper Doll book. Hop on over to see the beautiful pictures of the book and sign up to win your own copy. It is truly a work of art. You will be blessed.



Letters from Home No. 6 – Books Posted on April 6th, 2013

Old Books

Dear Annie,

It was such a pleasure to meet you and your family over the holidays and get to discuss so many kingdom building ideas. Your children are darling and it is a blessing to see how thoughtful you are about teaching them about the Lord. I look forward to what the Lord has planned for our families as we come together to encourage each other.

You asked me what were some of the books that have influenced me the most? I have been thinking over that question and I have included in this letter some of the books that have stood out to me the most. This list is far from exhaustive, so know that I probably have forgotten some important titles and may have to write you more later to include those. And this list jumps around a bit on topics.

Without any question, the Bible would be the most influential book. I make every effort to read it daily, preferably in the morning. It is incorporated throughout our day in as many ways as possible, reading it aloud as a family, listening to sermons, singing it, making art with it, etc.

This first list is of books I have read and highly recommend and in no certain order:

“The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace
“Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss
“Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp

“For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham
“Charlotte Mason Companion” by Karen Andreola

“The Christian Home School” by Gregg Harris (his chapter on Delight Directed Studies is excellent)
“Health for Godly Generations” by Renee DeGroot
“Nutrition 101: Choose Life” by Rayburn, Johnson & Hopkins

“Practicing Hospitality: The Joy of Serving Others” by Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock
“Large Family Logistics” by  Kim Brennemen  (no large family required to glean from this wonderful book)
“Educating the Whole-Hearted Child” by Clay and Sally Clarkson

“What He Must Be” by Voddie Baucham
“It’s Not That Complicated” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin
“So Much More” by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin

“The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Schaeffer
“Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” by Jenny Chancey & Stacy McDonald
“For the Family’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

The following list is of books I am currently reading (yes, I usually have a lot of books going) and/or other family members have read or are reading and tell me that I need to read it because it is so good.

“The Gospel’s Power & Message” by Paul Washer
“Building A Godly Family” by William Gouge (first book in a brand new three part series)
“The Sovereignty of God” by Arthur Pink

“The Attributes of God” by Arthur Pink
“Always Ready” by Greg Bahnsen
“By This Standard” by Greg Bahnsen

“Equipped to Love” by Norm Wakefield
“The Calvinistic Concept of Culture” by Henry Van Til
“The Institutes of Biblical Law” by R. J. Rushdoony

Matthew Henry’s Commentaries, 6 volume set
Calvin’s Commentaries, 22 volume set

The list of books could go on and on as I am sure your list could go on as well. I did just finish a book by Angie Smith called “I Will Carry You”. It is the story of Audrey Caroline, their precious little one who lived after birth for only 2 1/2 hours. The beauty of this book is about the willingness to accept God’s sovereignty and praise Him through it all.

I also like to keep a list of books that I want to add to our home library for future reading. It is a good thing to be always reading, but always pray for discernment and wisdom as you read.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Love,
Robin

P.S. I have a library board that has links to these books on Pinterest.



Letters from Home No. 5 Posted on April 2nd, 2013

Dear Laura,

This past weekend I saw your latest picture of you and your little girl. What a darling girl you have! There was so much happiness beaming from both of you. I imagine the hat she was wearing is of your making since it is so unique and lovely. Your desire to continue to learn new skills in sewing and other areas are evident. It brings me much joy to see you pouring yourself out into your family. They are certainly blessed by your care of them.

Yesterday we heard some very sad news of an acquaintance of ours who passed away unexpectedly. She had been married for over 30 years and had many children. Her family is testifying of her love for the Lord and their trust in Him to see them through this difficult time. She was much loved and obviously poured her life into her family. Her children are rising up and blessing her, and her husband is praising her.

I find this woman’s life inspiring and in quite contrast to a story that I learned of while going through more of my family’s history. There’s a picture from the very early 1900′s of my great aunt, her husband and two very small children.  Apparently she took her own life shortly after that picture had been taken, and she was only 21 years old. Growing up I don’t remember anyone ever speaking of her other than there was another sister who died young. What a sad legacy.

These two stories make me think of Proverbs 14:1 – “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” May the grace of our Lord fill you and me with the wisdom that we need for all our days.

Give your family our love and hugs. May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Love,
Robin



Letters from Home No. 4 Posted on March 30th, 2013

Old Books

Dear Sarah,

Today, being the second day of spring, is quite cold with a light sprinkling of snow on the ground. I can’t say I don’t long for warm sunshine, green grass, and flowers blooming, but the Lord is continuing to teach me to be content.

This past winter has been such a long, cold winter- the lack of warm sunshine can make things rather dreary. We were told by a friend that anyone living in colder regions should take extra Vitamin D through the winter months. We took that advice and believe it to be indeed helpful.

Something else that has helped through this winter is to keep busy, very busy with projects. Not only are the projects a delight to work on, it keeps us from dwelling on spring. We need to find joy and contentment in the Lord even when the sun is not warming us up.

I just finished rereading “Stepping Heavenward” by Elizabeth Prentiss. It’s the story is of the young Katy as she journals her life from the age of 16 throughout her adult life as a wife and mother. The lessons she learns as she grows from a self-centered young lady to a godly older woman are so precious. It continues to be one of my favorite books, and I am encouraged in my walk with the Lord every time I read it.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is about thinking rightly. Katy is exclaiming to her future husband how “she has to say what she thinks” and he replies “It is well to think rightly then”. Oh, yes, we must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It is so easy to think wrong thoughts and to indulge ourselves in them. Mulling them over and over, changing the reality of a situation into our own made-up version. We have to tell ourselves “no!” Putting off bad thoughts and putting on biblical thoughts. We need to exercise this throughout our lives. Just like physical exercise, this does become easier with time, but we must be diligent in it.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)

You asked me for my recipe for freezer chocolate; I’d be happy to share it with you.

Freezer Chocolate

1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey, preferably raw
1/4 c. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla

Options for flavored chocolate: adding peppermint or orange extract or oil.

Mix well in blender. Pour into a pie dish and put in freezer, uncovered. Check after an hour or so. You can cover it up after it sets up. Once it sets up, slice and serve. It may need to set out for a few minutes before slicing. If there are any leftovers keep them in the freezer or refrigerator. If you need chocolate immediately you can enjoy it straight out of the blender. You may notice some of the coconut oil separating and turning white when it freezes, just make sure to blend it better next time.

I am looking forward to hearing from soon. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Love,
Robin



Why Letters from Home? Posted on March 21st, 2013

While looking through old family photos from the 1800′s, we realized that other than the photographs we held in our hands, we know little about our ancestors.  For some, we don’t even know their names. What were they like? What did they experience? Did they have a relationship with the Lord and what did He teach them? These are things we wished we knew. It got me to thinking about the brevity of life and how I want to share our lives with future generations that we may or may not get to meet.  So I am resolved to write letters that will answer some of these questions about us for those who are still yet to be born. In the meantime these letters can serve as a way to hopefully encourage others and keep me accountable to write them.

They will be addressed to several different people. I am starting off with Sarah, my sweet friend who will be moving far away to start her own family. I will also be writing letters to my daughters Lady Bird (Breezy), and Rosey Bird (Emily Rose), as well as the Little Birds (those precious future generations of ours).  There will probably be others that I will write letters to for one reason or another. I may even just start naming grandchildren and great-grandchildren just for the fun of it.

I pray that these letters will be a blessing to those who read them, whether you are family or friend.



Letters from Home No. 3 Posted on March 16th, 2013

Dear Sarah,

The news in your last letter was such happy news. Thank you for taking the time to tell me all the little details. It makes me smile every time I think about it.

I am glad to report that I was able to finish our latest embroidery pattern today. The picture on the sampler shows a tea cup full of chamomile tea with some chamomile flowers surrounding it. It makes me think of all the times we were able to visit over a cup of tea or coffee when you lived closer. The words on the sampler are from Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine”. And I believe it to be true! No matter what ailments or trials we face, when we have a joyful heart it helps us and those caring for us to bear through it. I’ve included a picture of it for you.

Now that I have the sampler finished, I will be able to spend a more time on that dress I am altering. I am taking the sleeves off and reshaping them and changing the neckline. I haven’t done much altering before, but there is no time like the present to learn. I think this will be a skill that will really be helpful. Just imagine going into a used clothing store knowing that you can alter an item to perfectly fit you or change its style. I’ll be sure to share what I learn with you.

Last night while I was sewing on the sampler, my dear husband was reading aloud from Paul Washer’s new book “The Gospel’s Power & Message”. We have been blessed by his preaching and are looking forward to reading this book. From what we have read so far, I would highly recommend it.

Speaking of highly recommending – has anyone in your household been reading aloud? I think it is a wonderful thing to have someone in the family read aloud so that you can all enjoy the book together. It is also a great time for everyone listening to be working on something quietly with their hands. We can have our minds being fed and developing skills with our hands at the same time. My own dear girls have created some much loved projects over the years while listening to books. I would even go so far as to say if they hadn’t been doing that, our sweet Ladybird would not be able to draw and create like she does.

I will leave you with another verse on joy: “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” -Habakkuk 3:18

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Love,
Robin